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Coronavirus Update: NJ Gov. Murphy Orders Schools Closed 'Indefinitely,' Parks Closed On Day Of Highest-Ever COVID-19 Death Count

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey saw 232 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the Garden State's highest single-day number up to its current coronavirus-related toll of 1,232 dead.

The update came during Gov. Phil Murphy's daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, during which he extended the public health emergency another 30 days, ordered all state and county parks closed and extended the closure of all public schools "indefinitely."

"We don't need to, nor do we want to in any way, lose any more members of our family," said Murphy. "The best way we can protect this New Jersey family is by social distancing."

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So if you want to get some fresh air, you're urged to keep it close to home.

"Take a walk or bike ride in your neighborhood or at a park in your town that is open," Murphy said.


It's not just parks that are a problem.

"You're going to face criminal consequences if you violate these orders by having parties, by having social gatherings, by keeping businesses open," Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.

The New Jersey Attorney General says more than 1,000 summonses have been issued.

It's zero tolerance, and he'll even go after liquor licenses.

"A bar in Warren County that decided to ignore our pleas the first time, then we charge them a second time with a disorderly persons violation. Well guess what? Now we're gonna come after your license and that's going to have a real effect on your pocketbooks," Grewal said.

Bergen and Essex county remain the worst hit hotspots in the state:

  • Bergen County: 7,533 confirmed cases (263 deaths)
  • Essex County: 5,078 confirmed cases (232 deaths)
  • Hudson County: 4,949 confirmed cases (103 deaths)
  • Union County: 4,358 confirmed cases (95 deaths)
  • Passaic County: 4,101 confirmed cases (62 deaths)
  • Middlesex County: 3,717 confirmed cases (100 deaths)
  • Monmouth County: 2,770 confirmed cases (71 deaths)
  • Ocean County: 2,641 confirmed cases (85 deaths)
  • Morris County: 2,239 confirmed cases (87 deaths)
  • Somerset County: 1,033 confirmed cases (40 deaths)
  • Mercer County: 837 confirmed cases (24 deaths)
  • Camden County: 736 confirmed cases (12 deaths)
  • Burlington County: 733 confirmed cases (13 deaths)
  • Sussex County: 331 confirmed cases (15 deaths)
  • Gloucester County: 311 confirmed cases (5 deaths)
  • Warren County: 255 confirmed cases (7 deaths)
  • Hunterdon County: 234 confirmed cases (2 deaths)
  • Atlantic County: 144 confirmed cases (4 deaths)
  • Cape May County: 94 confirmed cases (2 deaths)
  • Cumberland County: 71 confirmed cases (2 deaths)
  • Salem County: 31 confirmed cases (3 deaths)

Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli also shared racial demographics on 729 of the 1,232 deaths, showing 60% were white, 24% were black or African-American, 5% Asian, and 11% of another race.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

Nursing homes in the state are particularly hard hit.

In Elizabeth, the mayor says at least 12 people died from the coronavirus at the Elizabeth Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and eight staff members tested positive.

About half of the long-term care facilities in New Jersey, 188 of them, are reporting at least one positive case.

"What we are learning is somewhat more disturbing. They have also shared with us that they feel they don't have sufficient resources or sufficient staff," Persichilli said.

So now the Department of Health is developing a statewide plan.

"It will require, in some cases, for patients to be moved around, and that's extremely disturbing to elderly individuals, but for those that have not been exposed, we want to keep them safe," Persichilli said.

Murphy also ordered all Boards of Education April election to move to May 12 and delay student assessments, including portfolio appeal process for high school students.

When asked whether he thought graduation ceremonies would take place, he said he doesn't see it.

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